Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, July 17, 2004

To unknow is to allow the intelligence of the situation to reveal itself.
 
THE GOOD MAN HAS NO SHAPE
 
Through centuries he lived in poverty.
God only was his only elegance.
 
Then generation by generation he grew
Stronger and freer, a little better off.
 
He lived each life because, if it was bad,
He said a good life would be possible.
 
At last the good life came, good sleep, bright fruit,
And Lazarus betrayed him to the rest,
 
Who killed him, sticking feathers in his flesh
To mock him. They placed with him in his grave
 
Sour wine to warm him, an empty book to read;
And over it they set a jagged sign,
 
Epitaphium to his death, which read,
The Good Man Has No Shape, as if they knew.
(Poem by Wallace Stevens)

They might not know. But they are correct -- the good man has no shape.
 
Shape is not brought by the good person. Shape is given by what is found wherever that person is.
 
There are far too many words about things we know nothing about. All day long chatter and narration, commentary and senseless prattle.
 
Here too.
 
If there is a God, wordlessly that God dwells.
If there is a Christ, the body of Christ's incarnation belongs to you.
If a Holy Spirit has anything to do with this world, it is an allowing reality full of forgiving for the unallowed.
 
Form is not only emptiness, but emptiness is the unshapable loveliness of silence allowing itself our inspiration to sound through it.
 
Even when nothing is heard.
 
We are being spoken.
 
As we are.
 
Known.  


Friday, July 16, 2004

Two mornings two young skunks in Havahart moved up Barnestown Road to Bald Mountain side of road. Third day empty. But the ritual drive is made anyway. 
  
We never know what is trapped under blanket cover until door is open to set it free.
 
Look up to heaven and down on earth, and they will remind you of their impermanency. Look about the world, and it will remind you of its impermanency. But when you gain spiritual enlightenment, you shall then find wisdom. The knowledge thus attained leads you to the Way.
- Sutra of Forty Two Chapters
 
Separating young ones from mother is not a happy task. Sunday night the conversation was about mother and mothers. Someone suggested to give up the role of mother is what is meant be the sentence, "Mother-love is the only love that loves toward separation."
 
When role is abandoned, person sounds through. We become part of the unfolding reality, parenting (from L. parere=to give birth to) that person or that reality by participating in its appearance or life.
 
At Friday Evening Conversation talk of the need to step out of the game of dualistic stories, of good and evil, right and wrong, the mind games and brain washing of greed and power. There was passion and intelligence in the ad hoc topic of cultural change and the fomenting fear insinuating the country.
 
To stand mind-naked and humbly unknowing, allowing each the unfolding reality of their being, with loving attention, and no agenda.
 
Compassion.
 
For skunks.
 
Alike.
 

Thursday, July 15, 2004

"Watch and pray," the saying goes.
 
I think the correct saying is -- "Watching is prayer."
 
Cloudy mountains, fold on fold,
How many thousands of them?
Shady valley road runs deep,
All traces of people gone
Green torrents, pure clear flow,
No place more full of beauty;
Birds sing my own heart’s harmony.
- Shih-Te (c. 730)
 
By looking, or watching, we allow what is unfolding the reverence of attention.
 
Just as the phrase "custody of the eyes" suggests we allow what is there to be seen in its own integrity -- not imposing and not detracting -- we learn to pray by seeing what is there in full alertness.
 
What is there -- full of beauty.
 
Of truth.
 
In itself.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

The man from Georgia says that AIDS is God’s punishment on homosexuals. The question on C-Span is whether abstinence or condoms is the best method of preventing AIDS. Each of the three succeeding callers says they cannot believe each preceding call. The moderator smiles.

If you want to learn the Principles,
Don’t study fine bound books.
The True Pearl’s in a hemp sack
The Buddha nature rests in huts.
Many grasp the sack
But few open it.

- Shih Te (c 730)

On the floor of the Senate, Frank Lautenberg, Democratic Senator from New Jersey, is saying he is seeking a special prosecutor to investigate Halliburton and Vice President Dick Cheney and the no-bid 2.5 billion contract awarded for services in Iraq. Was Cheney involved in awarding the contract? Sen. Lautenberg says he was, and that an investigation is needed on this as well as the 160 million overcharge, or profiteering, on the part of Halliburton

The day starts hot. Cesco and Sando return with Saskia from walk to Snow Bowl. The two dogs snooze flat on floor.

I am the escaped one

I am the escaped one,
After I was born
They locked me up inside me
But I left.
My soul seeks me,
Through hills and valley,
I hope my soul
Never finds me.

(Fernando Pessoa)

The poet does not want to be found. Time was when “soul” flourished desired and revered as essence of a human being’s life. Here the poet, as the escaped one, hopes his soul never finds him. What spiritual stance is this?

[840]
Whether we write or speak or do but look
We are ever unapparent. What we are
Cannot be transfused into word or book,
Our soul from us is infinitely far.
However much we give our thoughts the will
To be our soul and gesture it abroad,
Our hearts are incommunicable still.
In what we show ourselves we are ignored.
The abyss from soul to soul cannot be bridged
By any skill of thought or trick of seeming.
Unto our very selves we are abridged
When we would utter to our thought our being.
We are our dreams of ourselves souls by gleams,
And each to each other dreams of others' dreams.

(Fernando Pessoa, from 35 SONNETS, 1918)

Dreams come and go. Fact stays. The dream of a country. The dream for one’s life. The dream of how our lives conform with the theological dream of the life of God.

What fact stays? All of them. A “fact,” (from L. ‘facere’ ‘factus’ = to do, to be done), is a thing done, something that has actual existence.

Whether government or schools of theology – it is not what is dreamt of that matters, it is what is that matters. Facts have a way of staying around long after dreams have wandered off.

“We are ever unapparent,” says Pessoa in his sonnet.

We have escaped our soul.
We look everywhere in desperation.
What fact locates?

What are we, what are you, what am I –- doing?

Look.

Lost?